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Payara fishing in Venezuela

Uraima Falls – Venezuela

Winding it’s way along the edge of the Grand Savanna of Southern Venezuela lies the La Paragua River. A Tributary to one of the largest reservoirs in the world, this area is composed of fast turbulent water, surrounded by dense jungle forests, offering prime residence for one of the most fearsome freshwater fish, the Payara. With Giant fangs accenting it’s gaping tooth filled jaws, this fishes terrifying appearance closely reflects it’s ferocious disposition. Once hooked you can expect many drag-melting runs and explosive airborne acrobatics, guaranteed to push even the best equipment, and anglers, to the absolute limits of their endurance. Top presentations for these beasts include casting or trolling large 7 1/2 to 10 inch stickbaits such as Rapala CD 18′s and 22′s. Hollow plastic baits are defenseless against this fishes awesome denture-ware, making sturdy wire leaders and absolute necessity. Heavy 30 to 50 lb fusion or braided lines are of great benefit when trying to set hooks into bony mouths, with Hi-vis versions a definite aid in guiding lures through fast waters and around the multitude of snags hidden beneath the dark-strained waters. payara closeup

Access to this unique and adventurous fishing destination is limited to a few outfitters which you could find on the Web. I fished with the outfitter at Uraima Falls. Even within South America, this destination is known as the Payara capital of the world, and home of many world line class records, both present and future. Should you decide to visit this remote fishing paradise, you can expect to be treated to the very best in Venezuelan hospitality, complete with 35 ft dugout canoes and native guides, who’s willingness to please, may just include diving into piranha infested waters to free a snagged lure or aid in landing a fish. Of course a trip of this nature is much more than just fishing. The culture and surroundings of this region are experiences that will last a lifetime. Expect to see a wealth of jungle wildlife including parrots, condors, toucans, monkeys and maybe even an elusive tapir.


For more information on trying your hand at this world class fishery contact (905) 562-4995, if you dare! One word of caution. While the food was excellent on our trip, to be safe only drink bottled water, and before you go adding a heap of soya sauce to your meal, double check first to prevent making the same mistake I did…..It was actually ‘Ant Sauce’!!